A photo published from a page dedicated to worshipping the Duterte’s in Davao City has been reviewed and then flagged by independent fact-checkers as ”Fake News”. As of posting time, the said photo has garnered thousands of likes and shares with many people fooled by Kool-Aid laced description of him being ”Hardworking” and of course working during ”Holidays”.
However, the said photo were actually not take during the onslaught of Typhoon Ursula but rather of Typhoon Urduja which ravaged Eastern Samar last 2017. So clearly, the initial intention of the author was to misled and fool its 60,000 followers/subscribers into believing that Duterte had indeed been very diligent and hard working.
The main photo, where Duterte was seen checking the damage in Biliran, was credited to then-Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go in a Rappler article on December 18, 2017, headlined, “Duterte vows speedy aid for Biliran, Urduja-affected areas.”
Though, the said post has been modified after the latter noticed that its already been flagged for fake news.
However, the damage has already been done.
Fake news continues to divide the nation and prop up Duterte’s popularity
As much as these posts can easily be debunked through the constant monitoring of independent fact-checkers. However, the damage has already been done. And once the main core belief had been re-inforced with lies. It’ll continue to thrive from it. This is the main reason why you can always see fake-news themed commentaries of hardcore Duterte supporters in forums and comment sections. Harping the ”Anti Dilawan” rhetoric or pinning all sorts of corruption allegations against the former administration to absolve Duterte of any wrongdoing or to simply even hold him accountable with anything starting with his closer ties with China and timid response to asserting our territorial soveringhty in the West Philippine Sea simply because the problem started during the Aquino administration.
Fake news spreads in hopes of re-enforcing core beliefs that emboldened the targets cognitive dissonance. Thus, ensuring a steady-stream of like-minded supporters harping the same version of fake news using different types of media. The worst of them all is the ones that spread in comment sections where hardcore Duterte supporters poisoned by fake propaganda attempted to persuade neutral fence-sitters in online discussions.
The main purpose was to stir the public using spread disinformation which then gradually shapes their political convections and understanding of particularly important issues. Last but not the least would be the deliberate intent to divide the masses. Where people who has a serious knack in identifying fake news and those people who refuses to back down in asserting their beliefs that these news were true despite glaring established facts that they aren’t.
Worst, given that the Philippines enjoy a high-penetration rate in social-media, particularly on Facebook then it’s highly likely that many more people could easily fall for fake news.
I’ve long been doing my best to help strengthen our understanding of current events and for us to be able to identify which is misleading, false and true. With the introduction of Anti FN version 1.0 beta and then Anti FN version 1.2 which includes the auto – block feature of known fake-news sites. However, these softwares only work on Windows based computers so there’s a need to revamp the software and have this installed on Android or Apple smartphones.
I strongly encourage all of my supporters, patrons, subscribers and followers to download the AntiFN (Anti Fake News) app on the website. And if you want to support the development of the smartphone based software. Then do feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org